JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 298
and power networks. It's likely that you would work in a multidisciplinary project team, and you may carry out feasibility studies,
draw up plans, budgets and programmes and test components.
You could well work with engineers from other specialities on
a common project.
What qualifications do I need? You often need a foundation
degree, higher national certificate (HNC) or diploma (HND),
bachelor's or master's in electrical or electronic engineering to
break into this specialist field. However, some related university
courses cover electronics in a suitable level of detail. You can
also go down the vocational route, starting as an electrical
technician apprentice and continuing your training from there.
How much can I earn? Newly trained electrical engineers
earn around £25,000 a year and can expect this to rise to
£40,000. Senior electrical engineers earn closer to £60,000
a year, although pay will of course vary according to what
is expected from a role and the success of a company.
If you like planes, trains and automobiles, mechanical
engineering could be for you. These engineers are prominent
in the design of car and aerospace engines, railway locomotives,
wind turbines, nuclear power plants, artificial limbs and
pretty much any manufactured item that moves.
Day-to-day tasks can include research, testing, presenting
and analysing data. You might be in the office running through
a spreadsheet of test results one day, then out looking at a
problem in a factory or other real-world environment the next.
What qualifications do I need? A degree in an engineering
subject is a good start, and maths and physics are strong
subjects to get you on to university courses. There are always
other ways though, including advanced apprenticeships and
foundation degrees, both of which involve on-the-job learning.
How much can I earn? Mechanical engineers earn about
£45,000 on average, but salaries vary depending on experience
and other factors. When you look at forecast skills shortages in the
profession, it's likely that all engineering salaries will increase.
Despite women making
up 46% of the UK
continues to be maledominated. Women
account for one in eight
of those in engineering
occupations and fewer
than one in 10 of those
in an engineering role
within an engineering
organisation is aiming
to increase diversity by
encouraging all pupils to
take up STEM subjects
and to make "wellinformed choices that
maintain the option of a
career in technology and
engineering". It believes
targeting schools will
increase the number of
women who eventually
go into engineering.
A number of recent
projects have attempted
to increase the number
of women taking up
engineering. The London
Engineering Project, for
example, went into more
than 40 London schools
and ran workshops,
clubs and residential
courses to encourage
girls to consider
engineering as a career,
young, with girls not
being given toy trains and
cars to play with," says
Professor Karen Holford,
of Cardiff University,
who was recently
awarded a CBE for
services to engineering
and advancement of
women in science.
"At secondary school,
some teachers lack critical
skills - teaching physics,
for instance, when they
don't have an A-level in
the subject themselves.
Companies, too, need to
embrace flexible working
for men and women
to ensure the burden
of childcare is shared
equally and women aren't
out of the workplace."
Now acting as an
ambassador for the UK's
Year of Engineering,
Holford hopes to
as a great career for all,
but especially for girls.
Find out more
* Engineering UK engineeringuk.com
* GoConstruct goconstruct.org
* Tomorrow's Engineers tomorrowsengineers.org.uk
* Year of Engineering yearofengineering.gov.uk
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